Whether you choose to take estrogen or not, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will improve your chances of avoiding the number-one cause of death in women—heart disease. The nutritional and lifestyle guidelines for preventing heart disease are often the same as those recommended for preventing breast cancer.
Follow these lifestyle habits to avoid heart disease, years into the future:
Smokers have two to six times the risk of heart attack as nonsmokers. The good news is that as soon as you stop smoking, your risk of a heart attack drops rapidly.
Recent research has even shown that omega-3s may be the secret to quitting smoking, even for those who are not actively trying to kick the habit.
It's never too late to start. Walking briskly for 20 to 30 minutes and lifting light weights two to three times per week will help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol.
While there's no proven link between immediate stress and heart disease, chronic stress does cause the adrenal glands to secrete large amounts of the hormone adrenaline, causing your blood pressure to rise, your heart to beat faster, and your breathing to increase.
Stress can also increase the release of sugar into your bloodstream.
Consider coloring for stress relief, or starting out your morning stress-free by practicing simple stretches and moves.
Eat a healthy diet
I can't stress it enough, but so much of your total health and well-being depends on what you eat and drink.
Avoid these 50 foods you should never eat, and focus on eating more greens, beans, vegetables, berries, seeds, and nuts and less saturated fat, salt, sugar, packaged foods, and processed foods.
Watch your weight
Maintaining your ideal body weight lowers heart risk by 35 to 45 percent, so follow these 6 weight loss tips to help your heart and give your ticker some love.
Maintain mental health
Treating depression and reducing stress can lower risk of heart attacks, and incorporating healthy foods into your diet—and ditching processed eats—may lower risk of depression.
Check with your health-care provider about taking 81 milligrams of aspirin daily, which has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease. Do not take aspirin if you have liver disease or a tendency to bleed or bruise easily.